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Deprivation mode rears its ugly head. Have you been there? I need help.

Monday, July 15, 2013

My journey got its start here on SparkPeople last September and I did really well. The pounds seemingly just melted away. Not all of them of course, but about the first 50 pounds or so. Actually, the last week before things fell apart, I had lost 58 pounds.

That's when it happened. Deprivation reared it's ugly head.

I haven't been the same since. I do still eat some of the healthier food items that I used to, but the measuring cups have spent a lot more time in my cupboard than they did when I was doing so well on SparkPeople.

I fell away. I couldn't bare the thought of tracking another crumb.

It took so much effort. Not to say that SparkPeople is hard to follow, because it's not. It's actually quite easy, but I found myself pouring so much of myself into it that there was little else left for me in the rest of the areas of my life. I was obsessed.

It was all SparkPeople, all of the time.

Now I want to return because I know SparkPeople works. I tracked some food in advance the other day based on my altered plan to reduce the rate of weight loss per week so I don't go into deprivation mode, and I find out that I'm still in deprivation mode.

The mere act of tracking has sent me into crazy mode or something. It's like I've unleashed a beast.

I don't know what to do. I don't know how to get past this.

Today I went to the store to buy some food to take with me to work, because I hadn't prepared the food I tracked on SparkPeople. I swear it was like I wasn't driven to pick what I did by any logical means. I bought too much, and none of it was tracked and I wasn't even that hungry.

Maybe it's what they call toxic hunger.

It's toxic for sure.

I feel like a food addict or something.

It's like if I don't get food quick, I'll go raving mad and start gnawing on my arm.

Okay, maybe I wouldn't do that, but internally, I might be feeling just about that crazy.

It doesn't seem normal to feel this way. It doesn't feel right. It's like the food is in control and I am not and I can't live like that.

That's what got me here in the first place - needing to lose over 200 pounds.

How on earth could I get like this?

Does it even matter?

What I want to know, has anybody been there and overcome that beast within, the beast that craves food so bad that it almost hurts?

I don't know if I can count calories anymore. But I also don't know if I can do it without counting calories.

I'm losing ground and gaining weight I've already lost.

Somehow, this has to stop.

Otherwise I might gnaw my arm off.

Please, someone help! I really need some advise if anyone has it.

In the meantime, I'll try like anything to get a grip!

Ahhhh!!!! emoticon

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I too when started my journey for the umpteenth time devoted a lot of time to TOPS and SP and since dropped SP for awhile have gained some back now am on the journey again and taking it one day at a time and realizing that need to find balance in my life for all the things I have/need to do
    Continue to do portion control and drink water
    Exercise is a problem since do not like leaving DH alone and prefer to walk for exercise
    Will not quit
    Prayers and Peace
    1709 days ago
    Feeling deprived is a constant battle for some of us. For me it's a process of discovering new things I like that are better choices to replace other things that are not very good choices so I don't feel deprived.

    For example, I'm a two hotdog person. I don't feel satisfied with just one, but one hotdog with a bun can have 300 calories or moe. Hebrew National has a 97% fat free hotdog with only 45 calories per dog. Sara Lee has wheat buns that have 80 calories per bun. I can have 2 hotdogs with buns and some dijon mustard and a pile of broccoli slaw with some Newman's Own Lite Honey Mustard dressing for under 400 calories. It's very satisfying, and I don't feel deprived.

    Don't give up on counting calories. Hang in there and stick with it. From everything I've read it's the number one key to being successful at losing weight and keeping it off.

    I love those Weight Watcher commercials with the orange hungry monster. I think that craving beast is always going to be there. It's a constant battle. Keeping him caged is the best thing we can do, although sometimes he breaks out. We just have to shove him back in the cage before he gets too out of control. Maybe he we can tame him eventually.

    Keep reminding yourself about how far you've come already. Losing 58 pounds is awesome progress. You had to work hard to do that. The most I've lost is 30 pounds, and I managed to find it again. Resolved, you're going through a rough time right now and you've lost your way. Don't throw it all away. Pull yourself together and throw that beast back in his cage. Get yourself back on track now and focus on your goals. You will be alright.

    Best wishes to you for happiness and success.

    1711 days ago

    I eat healthy, I almost entirely cut out all simple carbs, I eat my fruits and my vegies, my lean proteins and my healthy fats, I exercise, I take supplements, I drink lots of water.

    I'm willing to keep doing that. I always have been. I haven't been saying no to that.

    You know, not everyone that has trouble losing weight has trouble saying no to bad foods. I say no all the time. I watch other people eat bad food, I smell it, I see it, but except for the past couple days, I haven't touched it very much, if at all. Even the past couple days aren't so bad now that I think of it in context of the larger picture. They weren't perfect, but I had my complex carbs, fruits and veggies. I had nutrition along with a couple bad choices. I don't think I should feel bad about it either, rather I think I should be finding solutions, which is what I am trying to do. I'm trying to be proactive in solving a problem that has me stuck.

    Having one treat in a day about 200 calories or so at my level of calorie intake shouldn't cause much of a problem unless there's something wrong with the fact that I cut sugar out almost completely. Withdrawal symptoms maybe? Could be. I don't know.

    Years ago, I didn't have this problem. I don't know, maybe it's related to my super-morbid obesity.

    All I know is that I can't be the only one whose been through this.

    It's different from when I lost some weight years ago. I didn't have that problem. But then I wasn't trying to lose weight, it just came off by itself. And then I wasn't super morbidly obese.

    Also, then, the calorie deprivation was less severe, it was probably only a small fraction of what I've been doing.

    Having a calorie deficit that can go as high as somewhere over a thousand calories per day is pretty significant. Even a 900 calorie deficit (below one's BMR) per day is pretty significant. That's the level I was at a lot of days.

    I want to hear from people who have been there and came out the other side. Someone must have.

    In the meantime, as an action plan, I will keep doing the good things I was already doing. To add to it, I think I will try some of the suggestions I've gotten, some of them sound good and I appreciate the advice I've been given.

    Being super morbidly obese may not be all that different that just being obese in some ways, the same processes that function for an obese person function for a super-morbidly obese person; however, I suspect that the issues one faces are magnified a bit by a body that's not as healthy and has lost its balance. As I get both of those back, I'm sure the struggles will decrease. I'm counting on it.

    1711 days ago
  • .DUSTY.
    I'm sorry but you're fooling yourself if you think your body stores fat because it thinks it's going in to starvation or as you said "famine mode".

    Please that's so untrue!

    You are asking for help and the help is to stop confusing yourself with all the talk about, "toxic hunger, food addict, gnawing your arm off if you don't get something to eat quick."

    You list all the things you "don't want to do", how about the things you are willing to do? It's like you want to lose all the weight without the hard work. It's not easy for any of us.

    You need to step up and start telling yourself NO!

    1711 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/15/2013 11:45:02 PM
  • MOM4407BECKY
    All of us fall off the wagon. The problem is getting back on.
    Get a cheap notebook and write down what you are feeling.

    Start writing down why you are rebelling against yourself. Why is the inner child wanting to be in control.
    Action steps
    Down load some of Juilian Michael's webtalks on Itunes. Listen to them while you are walking. Do not have an Ipod buy a used one for 40 or less.
    Watch old biggest losers
    Watch extreme weight loss
    Start a new exercise program.
    Remember how you felt before you lost the 50Lbs.

    1712 days ago
    Most of the carbs I eat are complex carbs, except for the past week or so, which have been a little bit of a disaster in that department. I've been eating produce, both fresh and frozen too. I've been eating plenty of healthy proteins as well. I eat cinnamon almost daily to keep my blood sugar down as well as a tablespoon of milled flax seed in my organic fruit and nut granola cereal for the same reason.

    My blood sugar levels measured at my last doctor's appointment last Thursday show they are down. They took my A1C levels which measures the average blood sugar reading for the past 120 days. It's healthier and lower than it's been in a long time. This time it's 5.4. Last time it was 5.5. Before that it was 6.1.

    I do enjoy about 200-300 calories of ice cream once a day at the end of the day for a treat and have ever since I started Spark People and did so while losing all that weight.

    I think what's going on is what they describe as deprivation mode that's going on, it's when the body stores fat when it thinks it's in a time of famine and causes cravings so that one will eat more food. The thought of measuring seems repulsive to me right now and tracking too.

    I think also, it is kind of an addictive response to the act of eating. It comes from having years of history where I ate when I wasn't hungry, I ate when I was bored, when I was upset, when I was happy, and when I was stress. I've had a lot of that lately.

    If it is the carbs, it's the ice cream, but since it's the last thing I eat in the day and I don't eat anything more after that until morning, I don't know that it is. It's hard to say. I do know that I did switch to sugarless ice cream shortly before this happened, so maybe there is something to it. All of a sudden the main source of simple carbs is cut and all I have left is almost entirely complex carbs. Maybe in part it's withdrawal symptoms, but I had the problem before I made the switch, it just made it worse though. It may have been what sent me from bad to worse.
    1712 days ago
  • .DUSTY.
    Have you heard the saying, "Dieting is hard. Being fat is hard. Choose your hard."?

    You said, "It took so much effort." Well how much effort does it take to drag around your 380 lb. body around each day? Trust me it doesn't get any easier as the years pass.

    Sometimes there isn't an answer. Some of us just have to choose. I do know that our lives will be so much easier in so many ways once the weight comes off. So eventually you will have more joy to balance it out.

    No matter what program you choose (if you do choose:) there will be days you'll be hungry. You will just have to suck it up and make it through knowing that there will also be days you'll just sail through.

    I think you know the answer. There's no magical answer. You just have to choose.


    1712 days ago
    As a food addict . I don't eat because I am hungry . Proteins and healthy fats do help stabilize your addiction to carbs.. sometime it is not what your eating but what is eating you ..

    think about it . you can do it.. you are worth it..

    1712 days ago
    My question is, are you eating healthy food consistently, or are you having some healthy foods mixed with junk food/fast foods, whatever you can get your hands on, etc? It's hard to stop the cravings if you continue to eat unbalanced.

    I agree with DDOORN's suggestions, temporarily at least, to try the plant based, real foods. You'll have to adjust of course, but eating this way is truly satisfying if you give it a shot. In line with that, I've also added "The full Plate Diet" This is clean eating, eating more fiber filled foods first. They keep you fuller longer. The concept with this, if you eat from the higher fiber foods, you don't need to track. It's pretty simple, straight forward.

    But of course, weight can be gained trying anything, if you only do it part way, and continue eating junk foods too.

    1712 days ago
    I have a very special blog for you to read. You will LOVE SKINNYINMYHEAD's insights here:


    More than anything else, controlling your insulin levels will control your hunger, cravings, and energy levels. And the way to control them is to control your sugar and starch intake. This is science, not psychology. You have to take control over the physiological causes of your weight before you can think about addressing any habitual or emotional issues.

    If you'd like some good reading on the subject, try Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It by Gary Taubes. A life changer for sure!


    We're pulling for you!
    1712 days ago
    Not that this will work in the long term, but how about trying this:

    Fuggedaboud the tracking for the next however many weeks. BUT stick with clean eating! Define for yourself what that might entail...perhaps no processed carbs, deep-fried foods? However you want to define it, but stick with these choices. I like Michael Pollan's basic food rule: Eat FOOD (REAL food, not processed stuff), mostly plants, not too much. Except for this pre-defined period forget about setting limits...just avoid your trigger foods and bulk up those veggies.

    I'm betting you will start to see results which will prompt you to get back to tracking so you get even BETTER results!

    1712 days ago
  • CARRIE1948
    Have you eamined what it is you are eating and checking the nutrients? I bet you're not eating a well-balanced set of proteins and fats and, instead, are living on starchy carbs and processed sugar, all of which lead to bingeing.
    1712 days ago
    First of all, those cravings can be reduced with protein, and healthy fats. This would be instead of higher glycemic carbs. Those tend to create hunger. Then, I'll tell you what I did.

    I was on the Atkins plan last year, and lost 57 lbs, much like you. Then, had to give up Atkins, and the pounds started coming back on. I played around with the Mediterranean diet this year, and that slowed things down. However, I heard something on Spark Radio that struck my interest. One of the hosts had lost sixty five pounds just by eating only when she was hungry and then only eating till satisfied. I liked the idea. It's not really a diet at all. Just a way of limiting your consumption. I picked it up about six weeks ago, and my weight has stabilized. I'm not losing yet, but I stopped the gain for the most part. It takes practice to learn what is real hunger and what is emotional hunger. So far so good.

    (If you want to hear that part of the show, I believe it is either the 32nd or 33rd show, the last segment on that show. It takes about 6 or 7 minutes to listen to.) I found it well worthwhile. Good luck to you, Glenn

    Oh yeah, one more thing. If you want to follow the Spark program and had been measuring in the past, it seems you eventually get an idea of how much food you are looking at, and don't have to use cups and spoons anymore. With habit, you know the amounts. Best to you.
    1712 days ago
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